Stateville Prison History

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Any individual residing within the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois possess information or has at least heard of Stateville Prison. No, not the haunted prison attraction in Joliet, IL which captivates those in favor of haunted houses during Halloween. The real Stateville Prison is a much more gruesome place than a haunted house. The prison has definitely experienced change since its opening, however, most individuals are unaware of the history behind the massive prison structure; the experiments that took place at Stateville in the 1900’s, violence today, and the famous prisoners that were housed in Stateville’s cells. Also, what many people do not know is the other prison that gave Joliet, IL the nickname, “Prison City” and began the prison revolution…show more content…
The prisoners were faced with gruesome work and living conditions until 1913 when Edward Dunne was elected Governor of Illinois. Dunne had campaigned for prison reform and promised just that. He appointed Edmund M. Allen to serve as warden at Joliet Prison. Allen achieved many goals, such as the creation of a baseball diamond for the prisoners to give them an enjoyable extracurricular activity during their free time. Another major milestone was the creation of a day school program, where 400 student inmates attended and eventually created their own newspaper, The Joliet Prison Post. Warden Allen also developed an Honor Farm where trusted inmates were put to work outside of prison walls and those trusted prisoners would eventually be the first to work on the land purchased for the new Stateville Penitentiary. As aforementioned, the main section of Joliet Prison was primarily used for men; however the architects built a prison inside of a prison for female…show more content…
Although there have been no officer fatalities in the past decade, eight correctional officers were murdered by prisoners between 1920 and 1992. During this time, fights, riots, and “hits” have taken the lives of dozens of prisoners. Violence and corruption by staff toward prisoners, once relatively common, have been dramatically reduced in the past two decades. Today, such incidents are extremely rare. When it does occur, the officers are prosecuted. In 2002, for example, two officers were indicted for beating an inmate, and in 2003, three staff were indicted for smuggling drugs and cell phones and for trading sex for

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